* OMV started work in Iran in 2001
* OMV, Gazprom have cooperated for decades
* Gazprom Neft to tap OMV's Middle East knowledge
VIENNA, June 2 Russia's Gazprom Neft
and Austria's OMV will work together in
Iran's oil sector under a memorandum of understanding, OMV said
"Preliminary possible spheres of cooperation include
analysis, assessment and study of certain oil deposits located
in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran in cooperation
with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)," OMV said.
OMV could help Gazprom Neft in the initial geological
assessment of two blocks in Iran, Vadim Yakovlev, first deputy
general director at Gazprom Neft, said in the statement.
OMV started operations in Iran in 2001 as the operator of
the Mehr exploration block in the west of the country. It halted
operations in 2006 due to sanctions imposed on Iran.
Following sanctions relief granted last year as a result of
a nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers, OMV signed a
memorandum with the NIOC for projects located in the Zagros area
in western Iran and the Fars field in the south, where foreign
companies often need a local partner to operate.
In January, OMV, which has singled out Russia, the United
Arab Emirates and Iran as growth areas, signed an agreement with
Tehran-based Dana Energy on the development of oil and gas
OMV and Gazprom have worked together for five decades and
have deepened their cooperation since Rainer Seele took over OMV
two years ago by buying into and swapping assets for stakes in
Siberian fields and helping to finance the Nord Stream 2
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Alexander Smith and